It’s pretty commonly known that Japanese takes many loanwords from other languages, especially English. (I’ve written in detail about this before here)
These range from obvious ones like オレンジ (the color ‘orange’), some that are bit tricky like セーター (sweater), and there are even combination words like the famous カラオケ (‘karaoke’ which is a combo of the Japanese word ‘kara’ (empty) and the first part of ‘orchestra’). There are even ones that are confusing like the notorious マンション, which actually means ‘apartment’, not ‘mansion’ like you would first expect.
But just today I ran across one that sounded so different from it’s original English I don’t think I would have ever guessed it’s meaning.
This can be written in romaji as ‘sukusho’, but when you pronounce it fast it sounds like ‘suksho’. Does this sound like it came from Russian, or it just me?
Anyway, the answer here is that this is a shortening of:
Which is clearly derived from English ‘screenshot’.
It is just when the “リーン” and “ット” parts are removed it sounds like a completely different word. (To me, it sounds dangerously close to “チクショ” which is a nasty word I don’t recommend ever using (: )
For reference, this can be used as a noun by itself, or as verb together with する, as in:
- Please take a screen shot of the error screen.
Got any other crazy loanwords (外来語)? Let me know!
I always like to guess what a new loanword is when I first encounter it, but sometimes I run into ones that I have no clue. For example, the loan word パン which I’m sure you know means “bread” and is actually a loan word from Portuguese/Spanish.
I’m only good at guessing English loan words 🙁
Or the other ones that get me are when they are a contraction of two words. アメフト for Ame(rican) foot(ball) is one of the two that I know, and the other is パソコン for perso(nal) com(puter).
Looks like I’ll be added スクショ to bring me up to three!
One of my favorites is a bit obscure: アイコラ, which is a portmanteau of アイドル (idol) and コラージュ (collage). Basically this refers to the sketchy practice of taking an idol’s face and Photoshopping it onto a scantilly clad or nude photo so it seems like the idol posed nude.